Grazing beacon fat herds


    So how many of them have bred! Wherever you turn on the sniffer - the crowd, the herd. But we can say that a lost herd. How to find them? What to do with them? How to put them at the service of man?

    Beacons are a sleeping volcano. There are a lot of them on the air, but a little is used in the case. Each Bluetooth Low Energy device is a beacon until it connects to another.

    The radio technical distortions shown below may help save herds of lost beacons. Or at least give you a slight technological pleasure.

    And the pleasure is in the current fashionable AR style - augmented reality.

    First things first. Beacons came up with Apple to take over the world. After it, the beacons were invented by everyone else. Each invented his own, so they are weakly compatible with each other. The main innovation of beacons is work without connection and identification. This, firstly, makes it possible to take them all at once, and secondly, it saves energy and, most importantly, makes the energy resource of beacons predictable. Accordingly, small size and long service life.

    On Habré much was written about these beacons: here , here and here . And there’s probably a lot more where. I will not repeat myself.

    For me, as a direction finder, these properties have become the best gifts. Well, how to make such a thing to direction-finding these radio fleas!

    At first, however, a WiFi direction finder appeared . The antenna in it is exactly what is needed for beacons, the frequencies coincide. And each WiFi access point, in fact, has always been a beacon, but in the WiFi standard, of course. Those interested in technical details can read here . The main chip here is in the antenna. More precisely in the antennas, there are two of them. And the difference between them is direction finding.


    In the WiFi direction finder, it was only necessary to replace our favorite ESP8266 with the no less favorite nRF51822, and it became for beacons. After easy editing, mobile software began to show all the same pictures as on WiFi.

    Now it was necessary to experience everything on earth. Massively and uniformly beacons are used in indoor positioning. As I thought, a real indoor navigation system is not so easy to find even in big St. Petersburg. (Although maybe I was looking badly, tell me, please) I had to go from the north of St. Petersburg to the south, in the TRC RIO. He pleased with its simplicity, there is only one floor. Beacons hang on the columns of the corridor and are clearly visible.


    Sniffer showed the presence of a large number of beacons. This is one of the first beacon producers.


    We uncover the instrument of radio-technical pleasure:


    And go graze the beacons. We find the first one that we find, locate it in augmented reality, write it into the Firebase-database of beacons under a logical name.

    Then the next one.

    And we fix the exercises.

    It would be possible to make the process of accounting for beacons more automatic. You could even remember the 3D scene thanks to the Google Tango technology built into the gadget. But we must leave some pleasure for the future.

    Sources of mobile software can be viewed on Github .

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